Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita could be set for an imminent Anfield exit after failing to produce his best form since arriving on English shores.
What’s the story?
Klopp must axe him
The Guinea international joined the Reds in a £52.75m deal from Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig back in 2017 but was allowed to remain at the Red Bull Arena on loan for a further 12 months.
After an encouraging maiden campaign on Merseyside, making 33 appearances in all competitions as Liverpool won the Champions League, Keita has struggled to make an impact since.
A miserly 16 Premier League starts since the beginning of 2019/20 has seen the African star fall down Klopp’s pecking order, although the impending departure of Gini Wijnaldum appeared to bring some fresh hope for the attack-minded maestro.
With the Dutch international set to join Barcelona on a free transfer over the coming months, a sizeable gap in the Liverpool engine room will need filling, and Keita may have been expected to be given a final chance to prove his worth.
However, that prospect now looks unlikely, with reports suggesting the club’s hierarchy are keen to offload a rare expensive flop purchased during their reign.
Atletico manager Diego Simeone is thought to be an admirer of the £120,000-per-week midfielder, and the six-time European champions are keen to take advantage of that admiration.
With Klopp reportedly needing to sell some fringe players to fund a rebuild of his first team squad, the German must ruthlessly axe Keita this summer in order to made improvements to his stuttering Liverpool squad.
Although Keita has put in a handful of top-quality performances over the last three campaigns, those displays have been few and far between, and he’s been unable to perform to the required standard on a consistent basis since his arrival.
Liverpool won’t be able to recoup the fee they paid for the former RB Salzburg man, but he should still fetch a significant price, allowing Klopp to reinvest and catapult his side back towards a title challenge next season.